Yesterday late afternoon I made a trip to Aphrodite‘s Baths up on the edge of the Akamas. It has cooled down enough now a pleasant 26 -28 degrees and in the late afternoon there was a pleasant breeze, a perfect time to make a pilgrimage to this beautiful spot.
Cyprus is the island of Aphrodite who, legend has it rose out of the sea foam at the rock that is called Petra tou Romiou found between Paphos and Limassol. On the edge of the wilderness that is the Akamas there is a cave with a crystal clear water pool that is said to be where she bathed. Taking the road from Latchi you wind a round the coastal road with ever-changing views of the coast on your right until you come to the very edge of the Akamas.
It is some years since I have visited and the area has recently been landscaped in a very attractive way with local stone paved paths and a botanical garden laid out in its early stages. The paths wind around up and down taking you past many indigenous bushes trees and shrubs, some have been newly planted and others have been here for many years: carob, terebinth, laurel, oleander, thyme and of course olive are just a few. The scent of the air is so good that I wished I could bottle it. There are also very tall eucalyptus trees which
must add to this heady, fragrant aroma. The Eucalyptus is not indigenous however, as it was introduced during the British rule to try to counteract the swampy areas and so reduce the mosquito population.
As I made my way down the steps to this shady, cool and tranquil grotto I heard the water trickling down into the pool. The area is completely secluded with olive, fig, eucalyptus and numerous other bushes and trees growing all around and above . The crystal clear water in the pool is very cool I stood my foot in one of the gullies flowing from the pool and felt the tingling effects of this refreshing coolness for quite some time afterwards. Nowadays people are requested not to swim or paddle in the pool but when I first visited this was the norm. Health and safety is everywhere these days. There is close at hand however, a small rivulet running down a rock into a natural stone basin, where you can wash your hands and cool your face. From here there is the start of a nature trail that will take you on the Akamas.
I made my way around onto a high area with spectacular views over the coast and lingered for a while at this peaceful spot before making my way back as dusk was beginning to fall. Farewell until next time.